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article imageReport warns on Al Qaeda's access to Syrian biological weapons

By Michael Krebs     Oct 19, 2013 in World
In a disturbing report released this week by the Henry Jackson Society, a direct line is drawn between the instability of the Assad regime in Syria and the ability of the Al Qaeda terrorist network to acquire biological weapons.
The Syrian civil war has yielded significant instability for the Assad-led government, and while the specter of the usage of chemical weapons against the Syrian rebels caught the attention of the international community, the bigger and considerably more dangerous challenge Assad's instability may deliver is found in the potential for Syria's biological weapons assets to wind up in the hands of the world-wide Al Qaeda terrorist network.
At least this is assertion that a new report from the Henry Jackson Society explores.
In the Henry Jackson Society report, "Media Brief: Al-Qaeda's Biological Weapons Program, Dr. Jill Bellamy van Aalst and Olivier Guitta contend that there is a direct association between the inroads the Syrian rebels have made against the Assad regime and the prevalence of biological weapons among Al Qaeda operatives.
“The Syrian civil war has left sections of the bio-pharmaceutical infrastructure destroyed and looting of labs has been observed,” the report states, “which could indicate that Assad is losing command and control over one of the most dangerous classes of weapons remaining in his weapons of mass destruction arsenal.”
The matter, as it is seen by the report's authors is one that should be considered a very grave and immediate threat.
"The issue of al-Qaeda (AQ) acquiring biological weapons has so far been a remote
preoccupation of Western intelligence services," the report concludes. "However, with the Syrian crisis and the potential acquisition of biological weapons by AQ, the issue is now a clear and present danger."
More about Syria, bashar al assad, Syrian civil war, Al qaeda, syrian rebels
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